We’ve reached the end of the letter. Hebrews is in fact a letter, though most of it does not feel like it. As we come to the closing chapter, we are left in no doubt that it is a letter written out of great love and care for the authors readers.
The author ends his letter by encouraging our faith through loving others because of the great love shown to us by Jesus. There are some practical areas of the Christian life addressed, such as good works, marriage and money. It then ends with a section on remembering our Christian leaders, those who have taught us, walked the faith in front of us, persevered through persecution and who have finished well. We are to remember them and imitate those who have been faithful before us, as well as submitting to those in Christian authority over us (vs. 17).
Living Christianly is ultimately about living through Christ. We no longer need to sacrifice animals, because as we’ve already discovered, Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. Hebrews 13 says that instead we can make another sacrifice. A sacrifice of praise with lips that bear fruit and confess His name. This looks like a life of serving God with everything we have!
Notice both the prayer and request for prayer. The writer in a very personal note requests prayer that he may live in such a way. Then he prays what is probably one of the most beautiful prayers in all scripture, in short that we too may live such lives.
And lest we forget, it can only happen through Jesus, who is greater.
- List the different ways that we are to loving others throughout this chapter. In this list, what do you think you do well, and what areas do you struggle in, and what definitely needs work? Pray and ask God to help you love well in those areas.
- What promises are in verses 5 and 6 and how do they encourage you?
- What requests does God make in verse 16 and 20-21? What pleases God according to these verses?
- Take a moment to think of your spiritual standing with God. Are you confident that you are saved? Is your salvation dependent on the work you do for God, or the work Jesus has done for you? What do you think a right response to God is at the end of this letter?
Father God, thank you for the book of Hebrews, and the great Jesus that has been revealed through its pages. Help me to live out a life that is pleasing to you, offering a sacrifice of praise, worthy of Jesus who died for my sins. Amen.